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 Sex and the Spiritual Teacher

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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:40 am

First topic message reminder :

[Admin] This has been split from 'OBC Experiences / Latest Zen "Scandal" and let's rethink the "master" story......'

The Boot and the Door: Preventing Future Scandals


By Scott Edelstein

In 1974, as a 19-year-old student at Oberlin College, I took a class
called Zen Meditation. In an informal discussion with the instructor of
this course, I learned that a prominent Zen teacher named Eido Shimano
had been having sex with his students—as it turned out, for some years. I
figured that if a college sophomore in rural Ohio knew about this
problem, then surely folks in the Zen establishment also knew, and—being
wise and influential—would quickly take the necessary steps to correct
it.

Now, over 36 years later, the Zen establishment—i.e., other Zen
teachers and we Zen students—are still wrestling with the same teacher
and the same problem. Eido himself continues to publicly declare his
innocence. And we are still dealing with the problem in largely the same
way: with admonitions and recommendations and demands, all of them
focused on Eido Shimano.

Folks who have been to Twelve Step meetings can legitimately
characterize our collective behavior as codependence, a spiritual and
mental illness in which we compulsively try to fix someone else instead
of standing up for ourselves and our own best interests.

Paradoxically, codependents’ attempts to fix a person enable addicts
(including sex addicts and power addicts) to stay addicted. Together, an
addict and codependents can keep an addictive system in place for
years, decades, or generations. Codependence also has another essential
feature: the compulsive rejection of reality and the equally compulsive
clinging to hopes and thoughts.

For 40 years, Zen teachers tried to fix Eido. We students tried to
fix Eido. We lectured him, pleaded with him, condemned him, and scolded
him. We obsessively focused on him.

We need to do things differently.

Roko Sherry Chayat and the folks in her (formerly Eido’s) sangha
appear to understand this. They have begun the very difficult but
necessary work of collective examination, dissolution, reinvention, and
healing. Chayat and her community have wisely chosen to bring in a
consultant from FaithTrust Institute to help guide this process. It will
likely take years, but it can be done. Two such cases of successful
reinvention in the wake of scandal include San Francisco Zen Center and
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. (A detailed account of SFZC’s
dissolution and rehabilitation appears in Michael Downing’s book, The Shoes Outside the Door;
an account of Kripalu’s scandals, implosion, and reinvention appears at
kripalu.org/about_us/491. Briefer accounts of both organizations’
reinvention appear in my forthcoming book Sex and the Spiritual Teacher.)

But what about the rest of us Zen students and teachers? What can we do?
We can begin by changing our focus, from Eido to ourselves and our communities.
We can, of course, continue to read Eido’s books, articles,
transcribed talks, etc. and accept the genuine and significant wisdom
many of them offer. Why shouldn’t we? Wisdom isn’t about the mouth, or
pen, or keyboard it comes out of. But for our own sanity, we can stop
throwing our attention and energy in Eido’s direction.

We can also stop imagining that Eido is the rare bad apple in the
Dharma barrel—and that by removing him from the barrel, we’ll have
nothing but pristine, healthy fruit. We can let go of the delusion that
we can reach into the barrel and, without exercising our powers of
observation or discernment, bite safely into anything we pull out.

Since Zen (and Buddhism in general) first sunk roots into American
soil, we students have trusted our teachers to consistently look out for
our best interests and our safety. Most have done so, but many haven’t.
Some still don’t. We need to stop imagining that this state of affairs has changed—or will change someday.
When we suspect that a teacher has not acted in our best
interests, we need to question them, challenge them, and speak publicly
about them. When we see that they’ve not acted in our best
interests, we may need to separate from them.

Instead of trying to fix them, we can put on our shoes, walk away, and find another teacher. (We
should also report instances of a teacher’s injustice or exploitation to
people in positions of authority, of course.)

All spiritual teachers teach at our discretion. Without us, they
would have nobody to teach. At every moment, we have the power to
abandon any teacher, simply by turning away. If enough of us do this, we
put a teacher out of business—unless and until they change their ways.

The history of Zen is replete with examples of folks who did just
this. Many of these folks went on to become some of Zen’s greatest
teachers. Your own history is equally replete with instances in which
you did just this. Think of the relationships with lovers, doctors,
mechanics, teachers, shops, and restaurants that you ended because they
failed to look out for your best interests.

We also need to look closely at ourselves as communities. As Jack Kornfield notes in his book A Path With Heart,
“The problems of teachers cannot be easily separated from the
communities around them. A spiritual community will reflect the values
and behavior of its teachers and will participate in the problems as
well. Because spiritual community is so important, only when our
community life is made a conscious part of our practice can our own
heart and spiritual life become integrated and whole.”

The converse is also true: a spiritual teacher needs to reflect the
values and behavior of his or her spiritual community. If our teacher
fails to act according to our values, then we need to meet as a
community to collectively examine and reflect on those values. If we
agree to reaffirm those values, then it is in our best interests to boot
the teacher out. In such cases, this is usually the wisest and most
compassionate thing we can do.

Scott Edelstein has practiced Zen since 1974. He is the author of 15 books and has served as editor for two spiritual teachers. This
article is partly adapted from the book
Sex and the Spiritual Teacher: Why It Happens, When It’s a Problem, and What We All Can Do, to be published in March 2011 by Wisdom Publications. His website is sexandthespiritualteacher.com.
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Jcbaran



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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:56 am

I also just bumped into this blog from last year. I have not had a chance to read it, so my posting it here does not mean I agree with everything in this articles - but from a quick glance, it seemed worth sharing:

http://enlightenmentward.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/sex-and-the-sanghaforgiveness-retribution-or-justice/
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Jcbaran



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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:19 am

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Jcbaran



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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:41 am

Here is another post on line about cultures of spiritual abuse:

http://integral-options.blogspot.com/2010/04/be-scofield-integral-abuse-andrew-cohen.html
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Jcbaran



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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:08 pm

This is a very funny spoof on the whole Genpo situation. And as far as I'm concerned, ridicule is in order. Any reverence would be entirely misplaced.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BotpeCr38Ss

There are so many hysterical pieces in this commentary......

enjoy
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Machik



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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:33 pm

Hi, Josh,

Thanks for your most recent posting. I followed that the link to the youtube video. It was hilarious!!! I really enjoyed cracking up over this video.

Machik
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:52 pm

Yeah wonderful - where can I sign up for a Tealeafzen franchise!
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Machik



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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:27 pm

Yeah, Josh, where can I sign up for the tealeafzen franchise too? (I'm still chuckling from the video as the day winds down.)

Machik
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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:59 pm

there is way more money in becoming a dai-schmonk and leading Big Organ retreats. Go for the big bucks.....and the babes.... Dogen, eat your heart out.
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Diana



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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:33 pm

OMG! Thank you SO much for this funny stuff!!!!

I was just reading something else and feeling so sad, feeling like "how could these people have destroyed my spiritual life" and "what an [banned term], that I fell for this, that I couldn't see that it was all a delusion," etc, etc.... And then there was this awesome, funny youtube video! Thanks Josh!

This site (OBC Connect) amazes me in so many ways and I'm so grateful for it and for all of you who put time and energy into it. Thanks!

We need more laughter. We need to lighten up!

As an aside, I remember being sternly schooled by Eko about how NOT funny things were and how irreverance was a SERIOUS karmic blow. He told me of a Zen story about someone who dressed up as a monk and acted in a very un-monk-like manner, only to be basically thrown into hell for several lifetimes. Zen is no laughing matter! Ha! It's this kind of brainwashing that destroyed my fun-lovingness and I turned into a dark, depressed, repressed, and oppressed young woman. So bunk!

Thanks again folks (especially to you Josh- wink wink, nudge nudge)

!
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:34 pm

Laughter and humor are good, if used in the right place, at the right time, in the right spirit, and one has to be careful not to use it incorrectly because it can quickly degenerate into something that brings about coarseness, profanity, rudeness, impudence, etc. which is something you don't want to become burdened with when attempting to practice spiritual awareness. I have always had varying thoughts about hells and the depiction of them in the Buddhist religion, but hell doesn't necessarily have to be the kind as the one shown in the Eight worlds, it can just simply be like a state of being where one may just somehow be in a state of confusion or darkness for a long long time. Perhaps that was what was mean by SERIOUS karmic blow.
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Machik



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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:20 pm

I think laughter can be used to merely point out the faults of others or to make oneself look good. It can be used in many ways, and, as is the case in so many things, it all depends upon the motivation of the one using it.

In the case of this youtube video, it is a spoof on a serious situation. It is a situation so troubling that a spoof seems so appropriate.

If we find a heaviness of heart and sadness growing from our practice or studies, we might wonder if we're on the wrong track. If we're losing our sense of humor as we go along then we might want to make an adjustment in our view and practice.

Machik
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breljo

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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:38 pm

Yes, and one might also ask if heaviness of heart and sadness growing from our practice arises from the practice itsself or from the way it is taught, then adjustments of view and a radical change are necessary.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:24 pm

I think most things in life and the world are ridiculous when I look too closely at them . . . so I try to not-see as much as I can . . . but still end up cackling over the absurdity of what humans do and say. Josh, my thanks also for posting this -- I loved it Smile I hope the guy who did that video will make some more.
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:28 pm

As one who has had the tendency to take himself too seriously, humour has often been my touchstone on sanity. In a fluid world, where serious views of self seem to walk hand in hand with rigidity, humour has helped me to let go and return to a larger flow.

While humour can be used to either harden or soften ones identity, the active devaluing of selfless humour (Zen is not a laughing matter) runs counter to everything my meditation has ever illuminated. Few places of meditative training seem as dangerous as a place where the selfless humour is discouraged.

Hey Diana.. I hope you have refound your smile after the EKO experience.
The word Zen has been connected to as many things as people have attachments for but contrary to Eko's statement I'd say that without laughter and irreverence there is no real Zen.

Cheers
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breljo

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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:01 pm

Well, Howard, One could only be talking so confidently while holding a great big cup of Coffee !!!! It doesn't look like something used in a delicate zen tea ceremony.

Cheers too
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:19 pm

Hey Breljo
OK but it's talking confidently while holding a great big cup of tea. Perhaps you are not familiar with the - my mitts are too big for dem dainty little cups, don't squash the hedonistic pleasure of just gulping it, Canadian Zen tea ceremony.
Open invite anytime your in town.
Cheers
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breljo

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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:26 am

Thanks much, Howard, for the invite, and a mighty fine honor it would be too!!I should know better than to make loose assumptions, of any kind, especially when it comes to matters that REALLY count Smile .
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:19 am

Hello there,
As always, I have some doubts as to whether what I have to say will seem relevant to anyone. But since the topic under discussion is Sex and the spiritual teacher, I'll give it a try.

There are different forms of sex abuse. The damage, generally, is not physical. It causes emotional, spiritual damage. It damages the victim's sense of self-worth. It is invasive, it is highly hurtful.

In this sense Roshi was very definitely guilty of sexual abuse. I don't know what her sexuality was like. But she was preoccupied with the subject. Here are some of her pronouncements that will provide the context which gave force to abuse of an individual.

"Sex is a dirty necessity." (rubbish)
Refering to an ordained couple, where the wife was pregnant as 'the fornicators'.

Refering to a young female monk, who went away for a brief period, saying "She needed to get her chimney cleaned."

Likewise, talking about an ex-fiancee of a senior monk, she painted a despicable picture.

On the whole, she created a sense of shame in some of us. I always had a feeling that she despised girls. She accused us of having come to the monastery only 'to look for a husband'. That's all we were about.

During my last stay there we once played frisbee on our day off. We had several frisbees, and played in a circle - maybe seven or eight of us. The fun was for example in throwing three frisbees at one person simultaneously, things like that. You would usually call out the name of the person you were throwing the frisbee to. And so, once Gensho and I threw the frisbee to each other, back and forth THREE times. Good God, how grievously improper. Roshi just happened to be walking by at that moment. During the next morning meditation she anounced that "a certain female senior monk (I was the only one at that time) used the game of frisbee for her sexual gratification. If she does not learn to control her sexual urges, she will be asked to leave."

On a previous occasion just before I was to return to Toronto to refresh my Landed Immigrant status (I was stateless), I was asked to sew her robes. I cut out simulatenously two of them, but could not quite finish them before I left. When I was trying them on her I could see something was wrong. In Toronto I received a letter from her where she informed me that I was so carried away with my sexual desires that I messed up her robes. (She also told me that initially she postponed my arrival because she sensed that all I thought about was sex.) As for the robes, the fact was that I was given a pattern that was two sizes too small. Roshi had put on weight as was her wont.

You may think that this was so trivial. It wasn't. I always felt unclean. Not just inadequate, unsatisfactory. Unclean. Somehow too organic, smelly - for all the world to see and recoil in desgust.

Once we went to Sausolito to a fair. We did some chanting there (I coached you, guys, remember?), and sold resin Buddhas. There was a group there - dr. Warwick (?), fire-walkers. Perhaps it was them that played music there. We stood around, and some people danced. I was itching to join in, and Roshi egged me on, 'Come on, Ol'ga, dance mazurka'. So I did, leaping over some bags on the floor, I let it rip - my robe was flying about showing Heavens know what! Maybe my knees? Or even thighs? I had fun, but on the way back to Shasta nobody talked to me. I think my brethren were deeply embarassed. I wonder if anyone remembers.

I don't know why Roshi goaded me to dance. It seemed to me that I made a fool of myself in the monks' eyes. But I was already getting gradually free of the ideologies there, and didn't care. In the end this may have been one of the events that helped me leave. I doubt it was Roshi's intention, though.

I am pretty relaxed about my sexuality. But I was young then, and terribly open and unguarded, and so very vulnerable. I can still recall that sense of being dirty, low. (And a weirdo with a bizarre accent to boot.)

Leaving helped me a lot. I left against her wishes. I asserted myself, and never ever looked back.

Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:09 am

Your story of the dancing olga reminds me of when some Buddhists came to stay with me, they were quite pious and did a lot of sitting,they were really nice people. I took them for a bit of site seeing,and called in on a quaint pub for a sandwich to eat, and glass of beer to drink. it was sunny and we were sitting out in the sun. All of a sudden some morris dancers appeared,accordion played, sticks were bashed and the rites of young love and spring were danced. To the amusement of everyone having a quiet lunch and the delight of my guests,after 15 seconds I was up with them dancing,after 30 seconds so were they. What fun,what freedom.
The sexual comments of Kennett show incredible unenlightenment at best , mental and emotional cruelty at worse.
It shows how flawed the system was, loyalty to kennett was demanded regardless; rather than real help and guidance towards inner liberation. Liberation of all our stupidity that created our ego ,the shell and prison we created ourselves.
Personally I would have preferred to have had guidance in liberation rather than instruction on ego reinforcement,and how to share visions and dreams with other people
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:14 am

Josh,

Thanks so much for the enlightening video. Might I borrow $15,000 so I can go to the bikini weekend?

yours very gratefully,
mokuan
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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:46 am

Ol'ga -

I deeply appreciate you sharing those stories and examples. Your experience shows clearly how sexual trauma is not just about physical contact / seduction, but includes subtle and gross attitudes, inappropriate comments and even verbal humiliation. Talk about an unhealthy work environment!!!!!

I think you are right. Kennett had a negative view of women, often treated them abusively. Her behavior had nothing to do with Zen, teaching, dharma - but was just an expression of her unrecognized shadow. And she was jealous of the married couples. I heard her make frequent mean, even cruel comments about couples at Shasta during my time there.

Sexuality is a powerful physical and mental force and when it is severely repressed and denied, it is expressed in often very unhealthy ways. Shasta was a place of systemic suppression - and I don't think this was just Kennett wanting to follow some pure Buddhist practice, but it was based in a life in which she never ever experienced any intimacy, love, sensuality of any kind - ever. Underneath it all, i think she was deeply unhappy, frustrated, lonely, and felt unloved. And her time in Japan probably only made her feel more lonely and disconnected.

With her male disciples, she also made all kinds of weird sexual statements and innuendos. She always did it in ways that she tried to make playful or humorous, but after awhile, what she said came off as frankly - creepy, like strange locker room banter. It made me very uncomfortable. To call any of this "teaching" is ridiculous.

To jump back to some of things I wrote about Kennett's personality structure - using the Enneagram as the lens. The Enneagram Eight is driven by lust, appetite, sexual desire. The 8's appetites, gluttony can be for many things - beyond sex, but most Eights i know have very strong sexual drives. So what happens when that dimension of your life is totally denied, pushed down, unlived. It must be expressed, but it comes out in crooked, strange, unhealthy ways - as Ol'ga relates in her posts.

I did some special work on the film Kinsey starring Liam Neeson. Fascinating project. Kinsey said that the only sexual deviancy was celibacy, every other expression of sexuality was more healthy than suppression.

So Shasta / OBC can think that they are better than those other Zen groups where the teacher had sex with his students, but I think Ol'ga is right. Shasta is not separate from the issue of sexual abuse -- just suffered from a different version. And what happened after Kennett, how was this suppression expressed with Eko and all the other seniors? It had to be lived in some way.

I would invite other people to share any stories or examples they had of this issue also. I feel that this line of discussion is useful and appropriate. I am sure the "masters" of the OBC would be horrified by these insights. No surprise there. but as we know, the truth will set you free......
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:34 am

Jcbaran wrote:


Kinsey said that the only sexual deviancy was celibacy, every other expression of sexuality was more healthy than suppression.

Josh, do you think this is invariably true or does the context of our culture make it so? Clearly if the underlying motivation for celibacy is the belief that sex is shameful/unspiritual there is not going to be a good outcome, but celibacy as part of a spiritual practice presents in many traditions. Is it always misguided?

One problem I see with celibacy as practiced at Shasta Abbey is the notion that it is an absolute, lifelong thing. I continue to feel that the time I practiced celibacy was valuable. I've come to think of it as part of going into a "retreat" - something you can do for a time, not forever. The problem for me came when it was no longer valuable and there was no permission in the system to change the agreement. The notion of making a lifelong commitment to any practice with no option for reevaluation is a setup for failure. That has played out in the OBC many times over the years with regard to celibacy.
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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:02 pm

Well, that's a big discussion. You need to look at how well celibacy has worked in various spiritual traditions. We are not talking about the ideal, but the actual.

Vows might be taken, but how well are they followed? If they are not followed, what are the ramifications? How is sexuality expressed in the shadows? If you don't act on your sexual feelings overtly, how are they expressed covertly? How is sex viewed by these various traditions and why? What's the big story about it? How does it make people feel, act, relate to themselves, their bodies each other? How are these sexual attitudes expressed towards women?

Mostly, celibacy does not work well and leads to significantly negative consequences. Not for every body. Look what is happening in the Catholic Church - a continuous scandal - and that is only the tip of the iceberg. It is likely ten times worse. How many men and boys are still too ashamed to come forward? How many women had affairs with priests?

We are told that in the Tibetan monasteries - with all those boys - there is a huge amount of sexuality that goes on hidden, secret. Nuns are often used as sexual consorts.

And Shasta, I do say again that Kennett's unresolved issues created a very unhealthy atmosphere, mostly unconscious. What good is that? Perhaps you found celibacy useful. I think it can be as a conscious choice, done with clarity and self-awareness. But what was actually going on at Shasta? Kennett's shadow drove the show there.

Also, in the Tibetan tradition, if you decided you no longer want to be a monk, it is a simple procedure to give up the vows, return your robes, and go about your life as a lay person or even a lay teacher of some sort. They probably discourage it, but I don't think there is shame or failure associated with it.

There is a huge amount that can be discussed about this and I am no expert. these are just random thoughts.
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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:43 pm

back to humor. the TV show, THE SIMPSONS, has consistently made fun of many sacred cows, religious beliefs, dogma - in a way that is both brilliant and hysterical. My friend Matt Groening created the Simpsons many years ago. And it continues to be brilliant.

The show SOUTH PARK has also taken on religious beliefs - in a bit more over the top fashion - but also incisive commentary on irrational beliefs and tradition.

There is a new big hit on Broadway that just opened, THE BOOK OF MORMON which i hear is quite amazing - gotten stellar reviews.

Humor and satire have very valuable roles to play in poking the sacred cows and all their holy manure.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:11 pm

Josh, mainly.
Thank you so much for your validation. I was nervous about sending my last post, and did it in the end with my usual 'what the heck'. Now I am glad, as it prompted a 'very excellent' (as my Indian friends say) collection of your random thoughts.

I also rather liked Isan's response to Josh's quote:
Kinsey said that the only
sexual deviancy was celibacy, every other expression of sexuality was
more healthy than suppression. [quote]

Josh, do you think this is invariably true or
does the context of our culture make it so? Clearly if the underlying
motivation for celibacy is the belief that sex is shameful/unspiritual
there is not going to be a good outcome, but celibacy as part of a
spiritual practice presents in many traditions. Is it always misguided?


I would say that it is obviously not always misguided. One's life situation may be such that one may be celibate for a long time, and accept it. It certainly can be an alternative.

There may be also periods in one's life when it feels natural to be celibate. But as part of a spiritual practice in many traditions it generally presents problems. For one, there is cheating (not the worst solution). A lot of Catholic priests had 'housekeepers'. The church actually supported the offspring resulting from this arrangement.

My Slovak uncle told me this joke:
An old priest had two housekeepers: an older one, and a very young one. A chaplain, training with him, asked him why this is so. The old priest replied, 'Well, you know the Bible has two parts, the Old Testament (zmluva in Slovak, a noun of feminine gender), and the New one. So I am just following this pattern.'

Later in the evening the chaplain sent a message to the old priest, asking him if he could lend him his OT. The priest replied, 'No, I am just reading it.' 'So, then, how about the New Testament?' The reply came, 'Can't, it's still uncut'.

Hope this is not too raunchy for anyone.
I rather like it that there is so much humour precisely under this topic.

I gotta go for a torture session (physio of my recently broken arm). You see, that's where I get my jolies. (Just kidding!)

Love to yevribodi,
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:20 pm

Hi Michael,
I love your story of the swirling Buddhists! So I have some kindred souls there somewhere.

You also said:
It shows how flawed the system was, loyalty to kennett was demanded
regardless; rather than real help and guidance towards inner liberation.
Liberation of all our stupidity that created our ego ,the shell and
prison we created ourselves.


My loyalty to Roshi was not so much because it was demanded. It stemmed from my assumption that, as a Zen master, she knew better; and so I suppressed any common sense I had.

As to all our stupidity that created our ego ,the shell and
prison we created ourselves
,
I have a few things to say, if I may. I don't think it is stupidity - rather it is ignorance, and in that we are innocent, because we were born ignorant. I wonder if we indeed created the shell and prison, or whether we are just doing what is natural to someone who doesn't know any better. You know, when you have a fracture, the muscles tighten around it. You don't do it - it's the brain that causes them to tighten. And it should, because the muscles are supposed to protect the fracture - attempt to keep it as stable as possible.
If I don't know my true nature, feel small and vulnerable, I need to protect myself. It is quite correct. So I must just get the knowledge...
I would like to start a new thread sometime about whipping the ego, and how to stop it, but now I have to go. David has just about had it with my sitting at the computer all those hours.
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:35 pm

" . . . because it can quickly degenerate into something that brings about coarseness, profanity, rudeness, impudence, etc. . . . "

Breljo!!! Does this mean you won't be my friend no more????

There once was a monk from Mt. Shasta,
. . . .

Game on!
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:27 pm

George

I always thought there was a fine line that once if stepped over may be hard to reverse, that's all. We all have our opinions and I am no saint, that's for sure, but once set in motion, trends that tend upwards or downwards gain a sort of "momentum". I've seen it in action many times, and I'm your senior (if agewise only), so there!!!!!!!

Friends still!!!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:45 am

Hey there Brejlo,
No offense, but your comment on my comment reminds me of more of the same...I take that as a little on the repressive side...here's me saying my thing and then it sounds like you are repeating what I've heard over and over again....I don't know, I just can't connect to people or understand those that are still "practising" or are coming at me from that stance.

Hey there Howard,
Yeah, I'm doing okay. It's still unraveling. I can so relate to Olga stories. I have heard some of them- similar ones anyway. Actually, Olga, I heard that it was Kennett who walked across those fires! Pretty weird how that got switched! The whole sexual repression thing was very similar with Eko. And I remember that the only layministers that the Abbey-folk seemed to respect were the "celibate" ones. How weird is that? I have spent the last 4 years studying psychology and relationships and I can tell you all, the way most people take the teaching of the Buddha is not healthy- we need each other, we need secure attachment, it is not a delusion, it is a biological, physical, and mental necesity. Sex is healthy and repression is not. Things got real creepy for me when Eko probed into my relationships and gave me advice. It was so subtle though. Someday, when I get it together, I will share with you all what I'm talking about, although I have already gone there in several posts.

To Eko , if you are out there:
I sincerely hope that you find love someday and are happy and healthy right now. I hold nothing against you. Please accept my apologies for any wrongs I have comitted against you. I forgive you for everything you have done to me personally. I see no reason to pursue any recourse. At this point, my ramblings are simply my own way of unravelling my stuff. Take no offense please. It's no big deal anymore. Maybe someday you'll be where I'm at, or maybe you're there now, I don't know. In any case, good luck to you. Everbody deserves love, everybody, even you! I hope you can shake that stuff from Jiyu someday. It's just too much, it really is. It wasn't fair that she put all her stuff on you. I hope you are now relieved and unburdened by her abuse and her ghost. I hope you are not haunted by her. I sincerely wish you happiness and healing.

Guess that's it for now...
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:13 pm

Breljo wrote:
Perhaps that was what was mean by SERIOUS karmic blow.

I think it might be useful to remember that karmic law, just as rebirth/reincarnation are unproven, and are articles of faith. They may be a good model for seeing the world and our lives. But it is entirely impossible to know which 'chunk' of karma we are at the moment 'exhausting', since the lives we are supposed to have lived are countless. There was a past life when we may have been saintly, or hitler-like, or a cow, or a tree. Nobody knows what 'fructifies' in this life, as there is no possible way that the process could be sequential. (Animals can't create karmic result since they don't have free will; if last life determined this one, no animal life could be followed by a human one).
What I am trying to say is there is no point in talking about karma overmuch. It could be useful to think that if I am miserable, I earned it, sometime, somewhere; and same if I am happy; or if I find a good teacher. But all that holds only if the concept of karmic law is true. Certainly Eko or Koshin, or anybody, telling anyone that he knows what karmic consequence they are just living through is bunk and pernicious bunk at that.

I think that just living as best one can is better. It's good enough for me. There are consequences to one's actions, even in a totally secular everyday terms. If I lie, I become a liar. That's enough punishment - I don't have to worry about karma.

Roshi, in her saner moments (and there were lots of them) used to say, Do what you want and meet the consequences. Very wise.
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:04 pm

Diana

Having practiced with a branch of the OBC for some time inures one pretty much to taking offense at pretty much anything, so, really, no offense taken at your opinions, yet just perhaps because of this, I seem to also have developed a heightened sense of what constitutes RIGHT SPEECH, and how to use it and when. I have also known some very fine monks of the OBC who know how to use humor in a very clever, elegant manner, without offending anyone, yet being very funny, effective and even gutbusting. To me there has always been sort of a line with any type of humor where it gets offensive and once the line is crossed it can get into things that kind of"snowball". If that makes me a "killjoy" in your eyes, I am sorry and perhaps I haven't gotten across quite exactly how and what I really wanted to say, but , it's the best I can do at the moment.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:31 pm

Hey Breljo

It's probably a sign of a mis spent youth, or not reading attentively enough but I thought that your serious karmic blow meant karmic cocaine.
That I laughed at.

HUMOUR. If it hardens anybodys life experiences then why do it. If it softens them, then I call that humour a blessing. Diserning which side of the line our humour sits on is as good a reason to meditate as any..

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:47 pm

I mentioned this film somewhere else on this site- THE MAGDALENE SISTERS. I did some special PR for this film for Miramax some years ago. Ol'ga, i think you could relate to this film. In the name of "holiness" these institutions totally repressed young women - demonizing their vitality, independence, spirit, and sexuality. Disturbing film..... but accurate depiction of what went on for over one hundred years in Ireland and elsewhere.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:43 pm

Thank you, Josh, I'll try to get hold of the film. I expect it will be rough watching it (I get totally sucked in, can keep noooo distance at all).
O.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:28 pm

I can't see what the problem is with humour. It's just another set of words - and yes of course words can cause offence, etc. whether they are humorous or not. It's why we have politeness and manners. Surely they apply to humour just much as any other form of communication whether it's speach or gesture.

O'lga, a big hug, you step on my corns again, wonderful! If there is freewill, a very troubled term, then why can't animals have some too? It may not be as developed as in the human animal, but there again maybe it is. I have always been fascinated by the problem of freewill, ever since a friend of my elder brother gave me an essay he had written for his Cambridge philosophy tutor purporting to show that God had no freewill since, one, he new everything that was going to happen as he was omnipotent and therefore could not choose anything different and two she was constrained to do the best and therefore had no choice. Anyway recently there was a fascinating radio discussion on free will by a group of UK philosophers. The podcast is at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00z5y9z
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:47 am

Hi Mark,
I'm happy to step on your corns so long as it doesn't hurt - though it doesn't seem to. If it did, I'd have to stop pretending I can dance. I would still collect that big hug.

Yes, free will is a bummer. Action (as everything) happens in the present, and as such, to what degree is it determined by our previous actions, and of course, 37,453 other factors. So no action is entirely free. Nonetheless, there should be at least an element of freedom*, and that would be enough for karma. But it is impossible to isolate it from the other factors. That's OK, since many, and possibly all 'things' in this world are like that, non-definable. To function in this world we simplify it, put it in categories, but few things (if any, again) are linear, and amenable to such treatment.
(David is just calling out to me, 'When are you coming to bed - have some sense for a change!' Well, not yet, to everything there is a season, and time for having some sense has not come yet.)
Could animals have free will? I can't see why not. There might be a continuum (and probably is) between them and us in all kinds of respects. The way a dog can play with you - there seems to be humour in it. Certainly the great apes are plenty like us, and, I would venture a guess, have some moral sense, and free will.
That only makes the concept of karma all the more problematic, and indefinable....again, like the rest of the world. It requires a certain intellectual detachment to be able to accept that this is the way things are, slippery, shifty. I ain't got it, it seems - my most fierce arguments with David are, when I think he is stubbornly refusing to grasp some point of logic. Logic, one of my gods...Logic has its limits - it doesn't apply in areas outside of its rightful domain. But where it does apply, it's beautiful and restful.
About God and the free will - yes, that conundrum is of the kind, "Can God create a stone s/he can't lift?" I'd say problems arise if you place God in time - his omniscence is of the forecaster's variety, etc, and also, of course, if God is somewhere out there, apart from the world, which would make him just one more thing among many, - world plus God. If the world is not separate from God, God being in and through the world but also transcendent to it (otherwise there is no God), then, it seems, all these paradoxes and conundrums disappear. But this is a long discussion - not barren and pointless - but I'll have to leave it for now.
I think I might be stepping on your toes, Mark, because I'm a bit of a Trojan horse on this Forum. My background is really Vedanta (Advaita - Upanishads). Probably there was some cross-pollination between Vedanta and Buddhism, but they are nonetheless distinct. I know way too little about either to sort it out, if anyone can.
Now I have to brush my teeth and go to bed.

Laughing = O. brushing her teeth.
* similar argument to my previous one in a previous posting applies - we can't have invented freedom, or free will from scratch. There must be some basis to it. This argument requires development - I'd have to get my thoughts organised, but not now. My teeth are about to fall out of my jaw, I'll have to take care of them.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:19 am

random quote i just bumped into:

"As Hannah Arendt pointed out, we must trust only those who have this
self-awareness. This self-awareness comes only through consciousness. It
comes with the ability to look at a crime being committed and say “I
can’t.” We must fear, Arendt warned, those whose moral system is built
around the flimsy structure of blind obedience. We must fear those who
cannot think. Unconscious civilizations become totalitarian wastelands."

"The chief qualification of a mass leader has become unending infallibility; he can never admit an error." Arendt

Rephrasing: Unconscious organizations become totalitarian wastelands. Unconscious organizations -- blind obedience, absolute loyalty, suppression of questioning and doubt, humiliation as teaching style, error-blindness, worship of the founder, shaming, shunning of leave-takers, group think, compassion as some vague principle but not put into action, severe rankism, denial of any criticism, demonization of those that challenge your unquestioned beliefs.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:21 pm

Josh, I think you put it a lot better than Arendt did.
I would add to that that the chief characteristic of totalitarianism is ideology, as body of knowledge, something final, already fully accomplished rather than something to explore. Questioning is always a safequard against this. I would venture to claim that in the case under discussion, Zen mysticism made abuse more possible. Because you cannot verify another person's wisdom if it is based on a kensho. If the person's behaviour is viewed through the prism of a presumption of kensho(s), transcendental wisdom not yet accessable to the trainee, then there are no constrains. Such system gives the head and those around her, legimitized by her, (perhaps even, to a degree, bought off) great power, almost unlimited power.

About totalitarianism, there is a super book by Alain Besancon, The intellectual origins of Leninism. In Marxism/Leninism you also had a kind of right consciousness vs false consciousness. Even cookbooks were written from the viewpoint of Marxism. I knew very well how to spout this stuff (at U we had compulsory exams in the drivel).
The diff., for me, between this and Shasta, is that back home I could keep my distance from the sick, pernicious bunch of lies. There was no escape (physically) from there, we were in fact in a prison, so we were forced to live in 'internal' exile, inside our own mind (and among the closest of friends if lucky). That internal exile, principally our own conscience, was our sanctuary, which was in fact kept rather clean. As for me, once I could leave (it was relatively easy to obtain exit visa immediately after the 68 invasion), I did.

Most of us did not believe the stuff - where it did corrode our thinking, it was unconscious, insidious. Of course, thinking one thing, and saying another, is unhealthy in itself, and corroding, too. (There were, of course, carrierist communists - what was happening in their tortured minds, Heaven only knows.)
-----------

In Shasta, by contrast - we were there voluntarily. Hence, staying already made us complicit. Once we allowed ourselves to start questioning, (or once we could not avoid or suppress the questions!) it was not long before we left.
Yes, Josh, humiliation was a big weapon, shaming...Even self-criticism was misused, sange, anything.
When I left, I had plenty enough reasons for leaving. But, from what I hear from you, Roshi got so much worse. What a tremendous pity! One could still see humanity in her when I was there, sincerity, innocence even. AND, she was so gifted! As you once wrote, a lonely, unloved human being.

You know, I believe, that monastery environment, the submarine quality of it, isolation, is just not good for ya! I wonder if it ever works - much less so, if there are no checks and balances, in terms of some overseeing structure.

Enough from this chatterbox.
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:51 am

Back to the discussion of celibacy, Scott Edelstein's book, SEX and the SPIRITUAL TEACHER has a few chapters on celibacy - including one chapter called "The Shadow Side of Celibacy." So I re-recommend this book as a valuable point of discussion.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:21 pm

Yes, Josh, it would be good to discuss this book. I am nearly finished with it. It is very thorough and insightful. I think it is a good book to read for every member and board member of a spiritual communtity. Where to begin? There is so much included in this book.

I think every chapter is worthy of discussion on this forum, not just the topic on celibacy. I have no personal experience with that way of life and don't have much to say about it. I believe it can be a noble path if one is called to it. Otherwise, it could lead to repression and a lot of the problems described on this forum.Machik

Machik
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:24 am

Dear Josh,

Ridicule is never in order.

Polly
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:55 am

Polly ---

In a private message, you just told me to "shut up."

Is telling me or other people who are sharing on this board to shut up - is that "in order"?

Not sure what you mean by "in order'?
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:03 pm

polly wrote:
Dear Josh,

Ridicule is never in order.

Polly,

Lay it out - what specifically are you referring to?
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:36 pm

Isan,

Specifically I am referring to a post made by Josh on April 8th where he stated that "ridicule is in order", in reference to yet another you-tube spoof on Genpo.

Josh, the message I sent to you was deleted by me almost as soon as I had hit "send". I checked my outbox, saw that it had not been picked up, which I expected as it truly was only in there for a minute or two, and hit delete, and was given the "message deleted" notice. So you got the message by error, the forum system glitched me once again. I don't intend to explain further on public forum what I had to say, for the reason I sent the message privately. I didn't want to publicly criticize you. I'm sorry that you caught some heat that should have been directed elsewhere or nowhere, which was why I deleted, or thought I did, the message. I knew I had probably shot at the wrong target, and used a cannon instead of a BB gun as well. I will be glad to discuss it with you on a private basis.

That's the best I can do.

Polly
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:47 pm

happy to chat about humor, parody, and ridicule. I only saw one YouTube spoof of the Genpo situation and I thought it was very funny and totally "in order." The situation deserved that kind of ridicule, because what was going on was frankly ridiculous. Us human beings are often ridiculous, confused, do foolish things, and there is humor in all of this --- and humor can provide insight.

I am a huge fan of Monty Python and the Simpsons and Comedy Central. Sacred cows are meant to be poked. And I understand why some people might be deeply offended by The Life of Brian or the Simpsons or the genpo video. How dare you make fun of the Bible, Jesus, the Church, people's beliefs, Zen Masters, the Dharma!!! That's part of the point. To offend. To look in the fun house mirror and laugh at ourselves and others, how we fool ourselves - the clown show. Frankly. to take all this religious / spiritual stuff too seriously I also find somewhat ridiculous.

The Simpsons provides the most cogent, insightful and hysterical commentary on belief, on churches, on religion. South Park is often way over the top, but often brilliant.

When i was doing that counseling work - SORTING IT OUT -- i often spontaneously used humor, made jokes, and yes, even ridiculed various gurus and beliefs. It cut through all the heaviness, the self- importance, the contrived holiness, the fear - on the spot.

I remember one situation vividly. 30 people came to see - all of them had left one particularly bizarre guru / cult based in Southern California. This group was a mish-mash of new age, eastern religion, Christianity, the occult - and the guru was a colorful, very odd, and manipulative, even dangerous fellow. Even though all these folks had formally resigned from the organization, they were still locked into all kinds of beliefs about the power and stature of this guru. And the beliefs and the stories they told were frankly, ridiculous. And in the middle of their tales, i started to challenge their beliefs and then it escalated until i was making fun of the guru and his teachings and threats and claims, shaking my head, rolling my eyes - and then they started to laugh, to realize how foolish so much of what they believed was just nonsense, literally it made no sense. Some people would laugh so hard, there would be tears streaming down their faces.

This happened many times actually with other leave-takers. They would start to tell their stories and soon i couldn't help myself, i would start laughing and making fun of some aspect of their guru or their toxic belief system - and then they would start laughing and it would all just fall apart. How wonderful is that?
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:43 pm

That is a great example of the healing power of humor. However, I find a Grand Canyon-deep divide between humor and ridicule. I am surprised that you got a positive response if you truly employed ridicule. My Webster's defines ridicule as "The act or practice of making someone or something the object of contemptuous laughter", "..To make fun of, to mock."

I find the Monty Python/ Homer Simpson form of humor hilarious as long as it retains the perspective that we are all in this together. When any humor turns into "us vs. them", it crosses the line into ugliness, which is exactly what ridicule does. It places one faction into a position of superiority and encourages a pack mentality toward the inferior. It's not funny. It's the crude technique of an unhealthy ego to prop itself up at the expense of others.

So I still think that ridicule is never in order.

Polly
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:39 pm

Polly

This is exactly what I tried to say in a few earlier posts, yet, you have conveyed it even better up above and I totally agree with you. No, ridicule is never in order. In fact it is another form of bullying. And as to putting one faction into a position of superiority and encouraging a pack mentality toward the inferior, this is only a "perceived inferiority" by some. The inferior may be much superior by not retaliating.

The subject of celibacy is a complicated one, and those that have taken this vow, being human, surely have lesser or greater challenges dealing with it, and each must deal with it in their own way. Those monks that break the precept against abusing sexuality and don't come forward with it, will suffer their own consequenses, those of losing respect for themselves, and when others are involved, and found out, the Order must deal with it, and set things right somehow as best they can. Yet to keep going on and on about this, just seems to me, that there are some who have a definite fascination with this subject and do
not stop to think about those that are being hurt in this process of humiliation.

Here again is the great debate of science versus religion. To the monk, there is going beyond the senses, and we have all heard the tale about the Buddha being tempted under the Bodhi Tree by all those beautiful maidens and resisting. Those that believe in science only believe this to be a tale of some sort perhaps, and they do not stop to think that there may be those that are able to go beyond the senses, and it may be a difficult process to be sure, but it has been done, perhaps with much difficulty.

Polly, my antidote to the Genpo stuff, check out on You Tube, The Monk and the Moon, (Zen b0nes). It is from an exerpt of a Movie called Amongst the White Clouds, of Hermit monks in China. or just enter The Monk and The Moon and I believe it is the first or second link that comes up, I am sure you will like it.

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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:12 pm

Oh yes! I love Amongst White Clouds, especially the last hermit interviewed. I wonder if that is the Monk and the Moon? I'll check it out.

Regarding celibacy, I love something Jack Kornfield wrote about in A Path With Heart. There was a senior monk who had broken his vows of celibacy in a way that betrayed his sangha pretty dramatically. An ethics committee of sorts convened and struggled for a long time over how to handle the issue and the monk. Finally, one of them said something to the effect of "Who here has not at one point in their life or another made a fool of themselves over sex?" That didn't change the fact that they dealt responsibly with the monk in question, but it brought them all to the same place. They were in it together. Christ said the same thing, you know, about casting stones, and it was the same topic no less.

Ok, now I'll look up The Monk and the Moon. Thanks.
Polly
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:30 am

Yes, Polly, good, good, we've all been fools about one thing or another in our lives, yet can only act from where we are at this very moment. As the monk in the video says, don't speak unless you've lived it first. A good reminder for all of us.

Greetings

Brigitte
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:29 am

Hmmm...
"Ridicule is never in order"? That is a ridiculous statement. Anything that provokes ridicule is inherently ridiculous and there are many ridiculous things out there. One very ridiculous subject is "sex and the spiritual teacher" and I think it deserves much ridicule. The thing that bothers me the most about religion and religous people is that they always seem to have a "spiritual" argument or explanation for everything and that the spiritual explanation always has more weight than simple critical thinking and common sense. The spiritual confounds and confines. It puts people in a box. It sets up the whole "us or them" mentality. It is inherently black and white, good and evil. It is so limiting. It is ridiculous.

To me, Zen is ridiculous. It claims that it "goes beyond opposites," but my Zen training set up more opposites in my life that I couldn't function in the world. All I saw around me was petty power struggles and a bunch of egomaniacs running aroung in robes causing suffering for all the people around them. It's one thing to run around in a costume and act like an egomaniac, but it's a whole other thing if it causes suffering for others. Both scenarios provoke ridicule, but that latter uses that ridicule to change the situation. Somebody has to draw attention to this suffering and find ways to stop it. In a sense, ridicule can be seen as the most compassionate way to bring about this change as it gives the perpetrator a bit of a break as the ridicule at least caused some laughter and took the bite off the situation a bit or by making it seem more light. Of course ridicule has been used in politics for a very long time and I would say that in that situation especially, that it is in order.

To put a Zen-master spin on it, I could say that if you are offended by a persons ridicule than where there is that offense, there is self. I notice that people are only offended when they feel threatened or feel they may lose face. I guess if you don't like the ridicule, then don't participate in it; you can choose to look away. But isn't that one definition of ignorance? Isn't looking away or dismissing something that you don't agree with ignorant? I must say, I had the great pleasure of conversing with someone at a party a couple of weeks ago. He was a Republican, I'm a Liberal. We had an excellent debate, found some things we actually agreed on, and also had a great laugh at our parties and our own faults. I wish everyone could have such conversations. By contrast, there was a woman there who very quickly became so enraged and emotional that she had to excuse herself. Her opinions were purely emotional and she could not articulate a sound arguement. She was just full of opinions. I felt bad for her.

I hope that we can continue on in the forum to be open and non-biased. I know things get heated from time-to-time, but I hope that we can refrain from acting like children and telling each other to shut-up.

Peace!
Diana
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polly

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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:19 pm

As I said, the message to Josh was A. private and B. sent in error. I would add that I did not actually tell him to shut up, I did ask him if he ever did.

This forum has been a valuable experience for me but it has lost it's purpose and its way, at least for me. I have very warm feelings toward many of the participants and wish them well and thank them.

Signing off,
Polly
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:04 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:52 pm

James, thank you for posting this.

I wish something more appropriate would come to mind as a comment, but thanks to Josh, all I have for Denny and Co. is:

Shenanigans! I declare shenanigans!

And we don't even have an Officer Barbrady to come and haul him away.

L.
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:23 pm

Hey "signing off" Polly

I'm not sure that I've seen a consistent purpose or way on the OBC connect. Some of the most strident responses to my postings have come from folks who are rightly peeved that I've bundled them up once again in some proclamation or another.

For me the discussions on the OBC connect have been a masters program on accelerated sacred cow deflation. Corporate religious supports that are continually exposed as just another twisted human frailty seeking solid ground in contradiction to the most fundamental Buddhist teachings.


I'm still sorting through years of self induced Buddhist conditioning which means re evaluating what seems like a limitless plethora of assumptions. I do this not to reject or embrace anything in particular but to see what remains standing free of my own fiddlings. Where I am still unable to allow phenomena a life independent of my own ideas, they remain highlighted as "spam" , probably corrupted and in need of more attention..

Many of your postings have helped me with this. Because of this I wonder if the purpose and way of this forum are not what you can get from the OBC connect but more of what your unique perspective can bring to everyone else.

Cheers as usual
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PostSubject: Re: Sex and the Spiritual Teacher   Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:12 pm

Hey Diana

I love it. Everytime you slam Zen I hear it like your telling my grandmother to ----- off.
Before I know it I'm up on my horse charging another windmill.

What I call Zen is supposed to be ridiculous. That this term has been hijacked by everyone trying to assert some legitimacy to their platform doesn't make it Zen. The organization you were trained in, very consciously removed the term Zen from it's label many years ago. I give them points for intent on this one even if they continued to sling the term around.

Yeah, I know, I sound like a Christian calling the other 2000 forms of Christianity miss labelled. Like that Christian, I've met some trainees that actually practise what they preach, experience doubt & questioning as valuable, see that there is no one to take or leave seriously and express a lived fluidity that my own meditation can resonate with.
They have made me think that there might only be two forms of Zen. These would be Zen and posing, or Zen and salesmen, or Zen and control, or maybe Zen and those using that label as a cover for behaving poorly.

Well, back to the barn!

Cheers
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